Twins: Record Spring Attendance, New Food for ’11

The team set several attendance records during this year's spring training in Fort Myers, Florida; separately, the Twins also introduced new food items that will be available at Target Field during the upcoming regular season.

The Minnesota Twins drew 129,453 fans to their spring training season in Fort Myers, Florida-marking a new franchise attendance record for a 16-game single season at Hammond Stadium, the team said Monday.

The team drew 129,543 fans to spring training in 2007, but that was a 17-game season. Drawing 8,347 fans to Monday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Twins set a single-game attendance record for Hammond Stadium, where they have played spring training games for the past 21 years. The team also set a new franchise record for the highest per-game attendance during spring training, drawing an average of 8,090 fans to each game.

In addition to announcing the spring training records, the Twins also said Tuesday that a variety of new menu items will be available at Target Field during their upcoming season. The announcement was made in conjunction with the team's food, beverage, and retail partner Delaware North Companies Sportservice.

Here's a look at what's coming to Target Field in 2011:

  • Turkey to Go: A taste of the Minnesota State Fair since 1959, the giant juicy turkey sandwich-which is marinated overnight, served hot and fresh, and pulled from the bone-will make its debut in a portable stand behind home plate on the main concourse.
  • Walk A Taco: El Burrito Mercado, which has been in St. Paul's “District del Sol” for more than 30 years, will offer a tortilla-based cone that's stuffed with authentic taco ingredients. The item will be served at Target Field's Se–or Smokehouse locations.
  • Apple pie: The Atsidakos family developed individual servings of apple pie in the 1960s at Peter's Grill in Minneapolis and now serves it at the family-run Cottage Grill in Rogers.The pie features apples inside a deep-fried, flaky crust that's topped with cinnamon and sugar. It will be sold in the State Fair Classics stand.
  • Bratwurst: Two new Food Network takes on Kramarczuk's sausage will make their debut this year-smoked bratwurst with horseradish cream and wild rice bratwurst with pickled red cabbage and beer mustard. These offerings supplement the original bratwurst, Polish, and Hungarian sausage that Kramarczuk's already offers. The new items will be served at a Food Network cart at section 114.
  • Hebrew National Hot Dog: For fans keeping Kosher, this hot dog-along with bread, condiments, and specially packaged soft drinks-is the ticket. Target Field's first Kosher hot dog cart will be supervised Sunday through Thursday by a Rabbi or one of his representatives.

Several popular food items will return to the 2011 menu-including the Pecos Red River Chili at the Loon CafŽ near Target Field and a steak sandwich inspired by well-known downtown steakhouse Murray's. Four different varieties of Schweigert hot dogs also will be available during the upcoming season.

Also returning to Target Field are the Vincent burger at Town Ball Tavern, Land O' Lakes' soft-service ice cream, and several dishes inspired by Twins greats-the Tony Oliva (Tony O's) Cuban sandwich and the Kent Hrbek version of the Juicy Lucy, which is called the Rex burger.

Pepsi will return to Target Field for the second year as the stadium's official and exclusive soft drink provider-and Caribou Coffee will once again be the official coffee of the Minnesota Twins. Many local and regional beers-including Summit, Schell's, Finnegan's, Grain Belt Premium, and Leinenkugel's-also will make return appearances during the 2011 season. New brews this year include Farm Girl Saison from the Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater.